Gray and Co, lawyers, abogados, international legal services, Panama City

Beth Anne Gray J., LL.B. (Hons.)

P.O. Box 832-0816 - World Trade Centre - Panama City - Republic of Panama

International Legal Services


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Immigrants to Panama - obtaining Permanent Resident status and naturalisation

For the requirements for the Pensionado Visa, please visit this page:  Panama Pensioner Visa - Requirements to apply for Pensionado Status

The Visa for investment in Reforestation was brought back by Reslution No. 39, April 27, 2006. 

All documents issued overseas must be Authenticated before being presented in Panama

As we mentioned before, there are a number of immigration options for obtaining permanent residency in Panama when you decide to relocate here.  In some cases, you may find that you are not interested in naturalisation or becoming a citizen of the country and that therefore you are happy to simply have a visa which enables you to live and/or work here. 

Before we can start your application, we must first register you with the Immigration Department.  This requires a short visit to Immigration where they will simply stamp your passport as having registered. 

Several of the programmes mentioned in the below pages were created by special laws designed to grant residency and citizenship in the Republic of Panama to promote foreign investment in the country.  This has obvious benefits for the local Panamanian economy.   Many international investors and companies find Panama to be an excellent location for investing, whether this be in reforestation, manufacturing or assembly plants, software creation facilities, call centres, or distribution facilities through the Free Trade Zone.  

Up | Panamanian Spouse | Personal Income (CD) | Reforestation | Investor | Panama Pacific Zone | Worker - Panama Pacific | Processing Zone | Call Center | Film Company

Because many of the requirements are repetitions of the requirements in similar visa and immigration programmes, we have simply provided a page of "Definitions & Terms" which describes the various aspects of these requirements, so that we can simply list the requirements on the various pages rather than repeating ourselves.

For individuals looking for a second passport, Panamanian residency may be an option.  Nonetheless, with the exception of the Retired Investor programme (which grants an immediate passport as a travel document, without actually granting citizenship), none of the programmes listed below provide an "immediate" solution.  Residency in Panama is required before the citizenship can be obtained. 

As a place to live, work and do business, Panama offers numerous benefits and advantages. The Panamanian economy is based primarily on private enterprise and depends heavily on the services sector, which is closely geared to international trade and external factors.

Panama is a country discovered by the financial giants of the world in the previous century and many are surprised to find that there are more than 80 international banks located in the city limits alone. Panama also has some of the most favourable commercial secrecy laws in the world.

There are very few requirements regarding the nationality of investors and no restrictions on converting currencies or transferring funds. Consequently, there are very few limitations or restrictive practices on foreign investment, especially for international business operations based in Panama.

Panama is known as the “Bridge of the Americas” and “Crossroads of the World” and has become the prime location for financial migration between the two continents and the two oceans.  Situated on the isthmus between North and South America, the Republic of Panama covers 29,761 square miles and is flanked by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The official language of the country is Spanish but because of the many years of international influence in the cities of Panama and Colon a high percentage of the population also speak English fluently.  This makes employment of a trained workforce much easier. 

A positive attitude toward free enterprise, together with the fact that the US dollar is legal tender in Panama, influences the foreign investment. Moreover, the development of institutions and instruments that regulate business activities in Panama has been consistent with its trade-and-services-oriented economy, which is closely connected to the international market and geared to using Panama’s geographic position.

To attract foreign investment into Panama, the government has developed the necessary institutional and infrastructure facilities, efficient public administrative machinery, extremely favourable and flexible policy guidelines and attractive fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. Historically, the policies of the Panamanian government toward foreign investment have been so open that there has never been any need for a formal statement of policy on this subject. Legislation hardly establishes any differences in treatment between nationals and foreigners.

In a world moving toward greater globalization, Panama’s flexibility in dealing and experiencing a multitude of financial factors including banking, taxes and trade, establish it as a prime location in which to conduct local as well as global business. In short, Panama offers the foreign investor a whole gamut of relevant advantages.

The various programmes can be summarised as follows:

bulletMarried to a Panamanian
bulletPersonal Income - term deposit of US$300,000.00 in a local bank for 2 years (minimum)
bulletSmall Investor - investment of over $160,000.00 in a business with at least 5 Panamanian Employees
bullet Panama Pacific Zone - (previously Howard Air Force Base) - special zone for manufacturing and assembly, as well as aircraft maintenance, film studios and other infrastructure
bulletPanama Processing Zones - for manufacturing and assembly for export
bulletInvestment in a Call Centre
bullet Reforestation Investor: investment in a reforestation project ($80,000.00 or more).

To request an immigration form, please email us.

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Last modified 05-Aug-2009 11:07 -0400

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